Frédéric Gregory Forsyth de Fronsac.

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County Ayr, Scotland.

County Stirling, Scotland

The black two-headed
eagle of the Caiiovin-
gian Dynasty, with cor-
onet between the heads,
was the ensign of the
Seigneur de Forsath,
Viscount de Fronsac,
son of the Emperor
Charlemagne and broth-
er of Louis, King of
Aquitania in 825. A. D.
'i"he modern shield of
Forsyth is emblazoned
on the eagle in this illus-
tration, to whirl

been added the crest
and motto of the Fail-
zerton branch as repre-
senting the eldest line,
derived through m a r -
riage of the heiress of
Margaret Forsyth and
('apt. Jehan Denys
with Capt. James For-
saith of Fai 1 ze r t o n ,
whose only daughter
married Walter Forsyth.

)\ost of (ilasgow

liege, in 167S.

Mortinner, Berkshire, England

of Cromarty anc) Elgin, Scotland.







Press of S. J. Parkhill & Company



We are indebted to the courtesy of the Dana Estes Co.
for four electros; to the Donahoe Magazine for two, and
to the Plant Steamship Co. for one.


Page 260, Vol. II, of Professor Laycock's '■'Mind and Brain "
reads : " The highest evolution of what I have termed ' Primordia
Instincts ' is seen in the communistic instincts of two classes of
animals which are at the head of their respective archetypal
branches: z'/s:., the social insects — the most highly developed of
the invertebrate ; and the social man — the most highly developed
of the vertebrate. In truth, the family instincts are the solid
foundation of society. Hence it is, in proportion as they are
active in a nation, in the same proportion is its social organization
vigorous and complete."

Aristocracies are formed by Nature, by the general
advancement of the fittest. This is accomplished genealogi-
cally, and genealogy is the science on which aristocracy rests.
From the study of genealog}- arises the science of heredity,
of the science of psychic transmissions.

Nobilities, on the other hand, are not formed by Nature,
but are recognitions, by man and his government, of aristocratic

Nobility and aristocracy are not always the same, yet they
are related. An aristocracy does not exist in vigor without
producing a nobility, and a nobility, even though at first formed
of unaristocratic products, if continued in a proper manner,
makes itself respectable and conservative.

Of aristocracy, though containing" different elements, there
is but one description. It is an organic body, in a community,
bred to eminence and renown b}- many generations of honor-
able career and exalted position.

Of nobility there are three formations : I, by the sword ;
II, by the pen ; III, by landed estates ; in other words, by tal-
ent recognized in individuals, regardless of family connection,



I, in war; II, in state-craft and science; and III. in loni^
territorial succession.

Aristocracy gives tlie firm ground-work of character, nobility,
the transitory mark of distinction. The ancient king was not
always from the most eminent family, and when the king-
grants titles to his servants aristocracy is destroyed. The
aristocracy has always, on this account, held itself superior to
any order of nobility that is not founded on aristocratic

The aristocratic power in families, in a state mak(^s itself
manifest by creating a little kingdom for each of the fjimilies.
This little kingdom, erected on a few acres of land, and known
as the family estate, is cherished, by the members of that
family, as a territory peculiar to itself. A family estate is
different, in this respect, from the estate of any particular
rich man, or corporation. The aristocratic family has changed
the acres it occupies, by the fairy wand of its sentiment,
by the power of its individuality, into a territorial realm that
bears evidence to its renown. A state that encourages fami-
lies of this sort to hold territorial positions strengthens itself
in the hearts of its best people, and provides a barrier against
the restlessness of anarch)' that an unsympathetic democracy
always engenders.

F. G. Forsyth de Fkonsac.


Who says the knight shall come amain,
With gilded mail and trappings vain,
His pride in pomp alone to glow,
For wealth, his energy o'erflow ?
They estimate his worth too small,
Who think that virtues near him pall : -
It is by them alone he lives :
They are the gems of Chivalry.


They form the charge he honors most :
They give to him his proudest boast :
Their honor, gentleness and grace
Shine, like the sunlight, from his face.
With frail timidity removed,
By them his worth to Valor proved.
Theirs is the name for which he strives
To gain the fame of Chivalry.


Such is the need of every state :
Without it all its days are late.
So faintly shines their light of dawn,
That night and day seem almost one,
And deeds of darkness hold their sway,
When Honor has not strength to stay —
And Honor in some form must brood.
Or else there's never Chivalry.



That form Humanity must own,
And person is the seed that's sown.
From seedling must the flower expand -
Grass seed but grasses can command,
And roses ne'er descend to grass,
Though frequent soiled and torn, alas !
And ruined in the course of life,
And so declines their Chivalry.

But children of the rare rose born,
If Chivalry their lives adorn,
Have in them all that generous mood,
Whose ceaseless virtue keeps them good.
No moth, corrupting, mars their state :
Misfortune cannot make them hate
A noble cause — though beaten ill:
It is the cause of Chivalry.


Let knighthood only be for those
Whose fame is like the rare, white rose —
To lead them to an honored state ; —
Those men, whose lives are true and great :
Whose deeds, though crowned not, like Success,
Reach hearts by motives pure and bless
Them with a love of right that's strong
And 'stablished as their Chivalry.

F. G. Forsyth de Fronsac.






THE name Forsath, afterwards Forsjt/i, is first mentioned
in Froissart's Clironicles of the Middle Ages in the
chapter devoted to the invasion of Aquitania in 1344 by the
EngUsh army of tlie Earl of Derb), who commanded in
the name of the French family of Plantagenet on the Eng-
lish throne in their attempt, as descendants from the ancient
kings of France, to possess themselves of the throne of
France also. All the manuscripts of Froissart in the P^nglish
Collection spell the name Forsath, and Forsathe. The trans-
lation of two manuscript copies in the French Collection spell
the name Forsach and Torsach.* As Froissart, the historian,
was in the service of the Plantagenets when he wrote his
Chronicles and as the best and most numerous of his MSS.
remained in England and are the originals, they are the
ones most worthy to be consulted.

La Grande Ejicyclopcdie dc France describes Fronsac as an
ancient district of France in Aquitania, bordering on the
Ri\er Dordogne ; its history reaches back to the Roman
period. This history says that a castle — which is discovered
in Froissart to have been named Forsath — was built by the

* Doubtless the commentator forgot the mark which makes a c/ an e^ in his MS.


Emperor Charlemagne in 768 on the Tertre (or hill) of Fron-
sac. It was built by the Emperor as a restraining influence
on the people of the West whom he and his Franks had con-

Lavisse, in the Histoire Generale, Vol. I, pp. 310, describes
this castle on the Tertre de Fronsac as the most powerful of
Western France and as the headquarters of the military dis-
trict of the West. Over this district the Emperor put his
son Louis as King of Aquitania, who became afterwards
Emperor on the death of his father, Charlemagne, while the
first lord or Seigneur de Forsath, Vicomte de P'ronsac and
military governor of the district, was of the same imperial
family (Carlovingian) and son of the Emperor Charlemagne.
The pedigree of Charlemagne from the King of Austrasia is
as follows : —

I. Ansigisc, King of Austrasia, in 650 A. D. married
Sainte Beggipe, daughter of Pepin de Landen. His son :

II. Pepin d' Heristal, Duke of France, married Plectrude,
daughter of Prince Hugobert, in 706. His son :

HI. Charles Martel, Duke of France, 725, mariied Sonis-
hilda, niece of Odilon, Duke of Bavaria. His son :

l\'. Pepin le Pre/, King of France, 752, married Bertrade,
daughter of Caribert, Comte de Laon. His son :

V. CJiarlemagne, luiiperor of the Romans and King of
the Franks.


The Franks were an army of knights and nobles of differ-
ent European races confederated together. Although the
greater number of them were of Cermanic origin, \et senti-
ment rather than kinship was the basis of llieir organization.
The name Frank meant '\free" — not in the modern sense of
free, i. e., not enslaved, but in the ancient sense i)( free, i. e.,
not inferior to a seigneur, not bound by fealt)- to a superior;
in other words, they recognized no lords as their superiors


because they were lords, a confederated nobility, themselves.
So the Franks when they conquered Gaul, named it France,
and became the nobility of that country. Spreading out in
later times, under William the Conqueror, with his Normans
of similar blood, they became as well the nobihty of Eng-
land, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, as the old records show,
and every royal family on the throne of Western Europe of
to-day is derived from the confederation of the Franks, either
from those who remained in Germany or from those who
settled in France. There may be some who object and
speak of the Normans as furnishing a large coterie to the
British nobility, but the Normans themselves for two genera-
tions had been affiliated with the Franks in France. The
Franks continued their principle of an armed nobility — of
Free Knights — when they constituted the Order of Chivalry
— the noblest organization which ever existed, which extended
from France over Christendom, which "caused the heart to
expand like a flower in the sunshine, beautified glory with
generosity and smoothed even the rugged brow of War."
The principle of this Chivalry became the principle of their
descendants and gives to family history its greatest value as
a means of reenforcing the same sentiment in the race by
the record of its honors and distinctions.

The difference between this nobility of tljie Frankish insti-
tution and that of the Anglo-Saxons is in the difference
between the meaning of nobility in ancient France and in
England. In France wealth added nothing to nobility.
Indeed, as Montesquieu said : " All is lost when the lucra-
tive profession of the note-shaver and speculator by its riches
becomes a profession of honor." In England, nobility cannot
exist without wealth to maintain it. Again, in ancient
France, if a family is noble, all its members and all their
descendants in the family name are of the noblesse, while the
eldest line male bears the title and inherits the manor-house.
In modern PIngland, if a family is noble, only the eldest son,


the possessor of the title, is noble ; the younger sons and
their offspring do not in any way belong to the nobility, but
are allowed to sink into the commonality, and, after a few
generations, cease to participate in any distinctions of the
eldest line. Again, the Anglo-Saxons, with a comvicrcia!
cynicism that is appallijig, load a tax on the honors and
armorials of families, while the French monarchy granted
exemptions and privileges.




In the line of Charlemagne and descended from the first
Seigneur de Forsath, Vicomte de Fronsac, was :

The Cadet de Forsatfi, who in 1236 accompanied the
Princess Eleanor, daughter of Raymond l^erenger, Comte de
Provence, on her journey to P^ngland to become the wife of
King Henry III'. His son :

William de P'orsath (s])elled Frisaith in Stoddart's
" ScottisJi Anns") took oath of fealty to King PZdward I in
1296. His son :

Rorert de P'orsyth, moved into Stirlingshire, Scotland,
and his son :

Osbert de P'orsyth, was among those who supported the
pretensions of Robert de Bruce to the throne of Scotland,


and after the Battle of Bannockburn received for fealty from
that personage who had become king of Scotland : " One
hundred solidates in terras tenement© de Salkill in the Sheriff-
dom of Stirling." The pedigree of his family is given partly
in Stoddart's ''Scottish Ai'ins." His sons were: Robert
(below) a*id William, baillee of Edinburgh 1364.

Robert de Forsyth, son of Osbert, Constable of Stirling
Castle for the king in 1368. A report of his rendering the
customs of Stirling to the king is in the Exchequer Ro'lls of
Scotland, as well as his receiving lOO^ per annum from the
king for the lands of Polmaise-Marischall, County Stirling.
His son was :

John de Forsyth, who succeeded his father as Crown
officer at Stirling, mentioned in the Exchequer Rolls in 1379.
His son :

William de Forsyth, who succeeded his father as Crown
officer at Stirling, mentioned in the Exchequer Rolls of 1399.
His sons were : Robert (below) and William, baron of Nydie,
in Fyfeshire.

[In 1492 the arms of For.syth, baron of Nydie, appear in the Heraldic
MS. of Sir James Balfour, Lyon King of Arms for Scotland. The
arms are described as : " Gules, a cheveron engrailed argent, between 3
grififins segreant or." Again, in the MS. of 1603, the arms of Forsvth
of Nydie are given as : •' Or, 3 griffins segreant azure, armed and mem-
bered vert." In Sir David Lindsay's MS. of 1542, "argent, a cheveron
engrailed gule, between 3 griffins segreant vert." The last of this
branch of the family recorded in Fyfeshire as holding the barony is
Alexander Forsyth, baron of Nydie in 1604.]

Robert de Forsyth, son of W^illiam, the Crown officer
at Stirling, obtained the barony of Dykes in County Ean-
ark. His name is attached as witness to a charter, in
1429, of Robert Keith, Earl Marischall of Scotland. His
sons were : John (below) and Thomas, canon of Glasgow in


John de Forsyth, son of Robert, baron of Dykes, ac-
quired the lands of Gilcairnstorm, County Aberdeen. He
married a daughter of Sir James Douglas. His son was :

David de Forsyth, lord of Dykes (1488). He was the
last of the family to bear the ancient arms of the Seigneurs
de Forsath (de Fronsac), which are described in Stoddart's
"Scottish Anns": "Argent, between 3 cross-crosslets, gules,
a fesse vert charged with 3 lozenges of the field." His son
was :

David de Forsyth, lord of Dykes in 1507. His sons
were : John (below), James, lord of the Monastery of Dum-
blane in 1560, and Henry, rector of Munnymusk in 1642.

John de Forsyth, son of David, lord of Dykes and of
Hallhill in 1 540. In 1543 he transferred his estate of Glen-
cairnstorm to Lord Gordon of Pitwig. He married in France,
Louise de Ravenel, a descendant of the Chevalier Pierre de
Ravenel, Seigneur of Broys, Saint Remy and Saint Martin
de Nepz in 1440, whose arms were: "Gules, 6 crescents
along the fiancs of the shield, 2, 2 and 2 each surmounted by
a star, or, and in the base of the shield another star of the
same." His son was :

David de Forsyth, lord of Dykes, in 1571, born in
P'rance. According to the Act of Scotch Parliament (p. 79,
1594), it recites a commission formerly given to David P"or-
syth of Dykes, to have charge of assessing the beer and malt
tax. His children were: i. Marguerite, married Capt. Jehan
Denys of Honfleur, P^ ranee ; 2, James, of Dykes, Commis-
sioner of Glasgow, who died without issue ; 3, William
(below) ; 4, Matthew, laird of Auchengrey, an advocate ;
5, Robert, laird of Failzerton in County Ayr, an officer
in the French service, who spelled the name Forsaith.
He married in P'rance a lady of the name of Chabot,
and had a son, Capt. James Forsaith, at one time in the
French service, but who was a prisoner of war in England
in 1654, escaping the 17th May of that same year, who


had married his cousin at Honfleur, France, Marguerite
Denys de Fronsac.

William Forsyth, son of David, lord of Dykes, was
commissioner to parliament for Forres in 1621. His children
were : i, William, whose daughter Barbara married Baron
Rello. The special returns of Lanark Januar)- 18, 1640, has
the following : " Heres William Forsyth de Dykes, patris, in
40 solidates terrarum antiqui extentus de Gayne, 40 solidates
de Untheos, infra dominium de Newburgh et baroniiim de
Munckland." 2, John (below) ; 3, James, from whom are the
Forsyths of Cromarty and Elgin (see p. 26).

John Forsyth, son of William, member of Parliament for
Cullen and one of the signers of the commission to meet the
English parliament in 1652 He married a daughter of Sir
William Livingston of Kilsyth. His sons were : Rev. James
of Tailzerton, County Stirling, and Walter, provost of the
college of Glasgow.


Rev. James Forsvth,* of Tailzerton (son of John and
Miss Livingston, Forsyth, see p. 8), inherited the lands of
Tailzerton and Kilsyth Easter from his mother. He was
minister to the church at Airth in 1661, and to that at
Stirling in 1665. He married, ist, a daughter and heiress of
Bruce.f Laird of Gavell, cadet of Bruce of Airth through a
daughter of Sir William de Airth of that ilk, 2d, Marion
Elphinstone. Issue, a son :

James Foksvth,J his successor, of Tailzerton, Member of
the Council of Stirling, in company with the Duke of Hamil-
ton, Earl of Calender, Lords Elphinston and Livingston of

* Act. Scot. Pari. (1661-5).

t General Armory (Burke), vide Bruce and Airth. Rev. James Forsyth was a
famous preacher. Sermons published at London, 1666.

I Ret. Scot. Abbrev. Inq. Spec. Stirling (277), Sept. i, 1676 : •' Heres tallia et pro-
visionis Magistri Jacobi Forsyth de Tailzertoune, magistri vobi Dei apud ecclesium de
Stirling ... in terris de Polinais, vocatis Polinais-Tailzertoun pro principali. ter-
ris de Kilsyth : Easter in speciale warrantum earundam."



Kilsyth, the Earl of Mar being the convenor (1685). In 1696
he sat in Parliament, as " Forsyth of Gavell." Children :
I. Rebecca * 11. Williaiii, see below.

William FoRSVTHf (son of James Bruce Forsyth, as
above) was born 1687; granted freedom of Glasgow, 1735 ;

married Elspet, daughter of Gerard of W'alkerhill,

County Aberdeen. A son was :

William Forsyth, born December 18, 1721 ; granted free-
dom of Glasgow, 1746; married Jean, daughter of George
Phynn,| I^ord of the Corse of Monelly. Issue :

1. George, born April 2, 1756; married a Miss Tay-


2. William, born April 5, 1756. His daughter mar-

ried Prof. Means, D.D., and was mother of Rev.
W. Means, D.D., of Disblair, County Aberdeen.

3. Alexander,^ born November 17, 1758.

4. James, born June 23, 1759; Captain of Dragoons;

married Ann, daughter of John, 9th Baron Col-

5. Thomas, born March, 1761, presented by Lord

Nelson, February 2, 1802, with his picture, now
at the Quebec Garrison Club.

6. John (of whom hereafter). See Forsyth of Eccles-

greig Castle.
y. Joseph, horw June 24, 1764; came from Huntley,
County Aberdeen, to Kingston, Canada, about
1787; married Alice, daughter of Maj. James

*Inq. Spec. Stirling (342), April 26, 1699: " Heres tallia et provisionis, Jacob!
Forsyth, alias Bruce de Gavell, patris in terris de Polinais hunc vocatis Polinais-Tail-
zertoun pro principali, et in speciale warrantiim eanindam in terris de Kilsytli :

jEcclesgreig MSS.: Crest of Tailzertoii, a demi griffin vert, armed and nienibered gii.
Motto: " Restaurator Ruiniae."

J Another daughter of (ieo. I'hynn was mother to Kight lion. I'.dward I^lhce,

§ Ecclesgreig MSS.

II Burke's Peerage (Colville),


Robbins, R. A. He was Colonel of Militia.
Issue :

a. William, died unmarried.

b. James Bell, born December 25, 1803 ; married in

1828 Fanny, daughter of the Hon. Matthew
Bell of Quebec, whose father and grandfather
were of Berwick on Tweed, and had :
I, Col. Joseph Bell (see p. 80), 2, John Bell and
James Bell died young, 3, Fanny Bell, mar-
ried John Burstall of Quebec [whose chil-
dren are John Forsyth Burstall, London and
Quebec, and Capt. Harry Burstall of the
Royal Canadian Artillery in 1903, serving
with the South African Constabulary in com-
mand of the District of Rustanburg, Trans-
vaal. He has been mentioned four times for
bravery and coolness in the fields, especially
by Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener],
4, Frances, 5, Edith, 6, Amy, 7, Alice, 8,
Mabel Kate, married John G. Ross of the

c. Eueretta Jane, married William Forsyth of


d. John Richardson of Kingston, returned to the fam-

ily house at Huntley, which he inherited. He
married his cousin, Louisa Forsyth, and has issue.

e. Mary Ann, married David Burnet, Major of Que-

bec Cavalry in Rebellion of 1837-8, whose
residence, " Etrick," is named from his ances-
tral place in County Aberdeen.
/. Thomas, Captain 3 2d Foot, served in the Rebel-
lion of 1837-8.
8. Robert* born 1766; Ensign 6ist Foot, 1783;

* Record of Services of Ma j. Robert Forsyth, 60th Rifles. No. 7353. F. 214. War
Office. London, England.


68th Foot, 1785 ; 72d Foot, 1785 ; Lieutenant
72d Foot, 1787; Captain 112th Foot, 1795; 2d
Battalion 90th Foot, 1795; 60th Foot, 1795;
Major 60th Foot, 1797 ; retired from service by
the sale of his commission, March 6, 1802 ; died
9. David,* born September 2, 1767; married a Miss
Jackson, of Kendall, Westmoreland, England.
Issue :
a. William, married Susan, daughter of Judge Leigh
(sister of Maj. H. Leigh, 98th Foot), of Madras
b James, Lieut. R.A.

c. George.

d. Henry.

c. Emily, married William Skinner, Barrister,
nephew of Right Rev. William Skinner, D.D.,
Lord Primate of Scotland and Bishop of

10. Morris, born January 27, 1771 ; minister to the

church at Mortlach ; married Isabella, daughter
of James Donaldson, of Kinairdie.

11. Margaret, born May 3, 1777.

■■ Ecclesgreig MSS.





[By royal license the Forsyths of Ecclesgreio; added the name of
Grant in 1S24, and quartered the Grant arms with that of Forsyth.]

John Forsyth, see p. 10 (son of William and Jean
Phynn), was born December 8, 1762. He came to New
York about the beginning of the American Revolution, but
would not renounce his allegiance to the king, and was one of
the United Empire Loyalists who settled in Montreal before
1786. He was in partnership there as a ship-owner and
foreign merchant wdth another United Empire Loyalist, Hon.
John Richardson, President of the Lachine Canal Construc-
tion Company. He married Margaret, daughter of Charles
Grant, third son of Grant, Laird of Kinworth. Children :

I. Will 1(7711, born February 10, 1804; succeeded his
uncle, Frederic Grant, to the estates of Eccles-
greig; married Eueretta, daughter of Joseph
Forsyth, Kingston, Canada. Issue :

a. Frederic Grant, born September 2, 1836; Cap-

tain 3d Hussars, A.D.C to His Excellency, the
Marquis of Lome, Governor-General of Canada ;
afterwards A.D.C. to Her Majesty Queen Vic-
toria ; married Margaret, daughter of Col.
William A. Orr, C.B., of Bridgetown.

b. John Joseph, born October 23, 1840; Captain

46th P"oot ; married Annie, daughter and heir-
ess of John Littleton, of Trewin, St. Germain,
Cornwall, England.

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